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“For the celebration I got Champagne flutes, even though I’m not musical” – Jarod Kintz

We’d not seen this quote before and it made us smile, then we saw how many sparkling wines we have in our portfolio and we started to laugh… hysterically!

But somehow it feels right, with high Champagne prices at one end and the Prosecco phenomena at the other there’s a distinct and very attractive broadening of the category and we should absolutely embrace the opportunities now opening for high quality but ‘non-classic’ fizz.

 

Let’s pop some corks and take a look what’s hot.

Ferghettina Franciacorta Milledi 2013

Five or six years ago, it wasn’t exactly obvious that we should take on a Franciacorta agency but, with Italian fizz well and truly on the map and Boutinot now far and away the biggest importer of Franciacorta into the UK, it’s starting to look like one of our rare smart moves. For sure the Italian fizz phenomenon is driven by Prosecco – Franciacorta remains just a small percentage of the total but distribution is steadily increasing, sales are growing really well and Ferghettina are just such a lovely producer to work with. This

Montresor Rosé Royal Pinot Noil Spumante NV

Family-owned, Veneto producer Giacomo Montresor is better known for its Valpolicellas, but this sparkling Pinot Noir rosé is so wonderfully ‘them’. It’s an unlikely Veneto sparkler with slightly retro, slightly bling presentation… it’s not Prosecco and it’s not posh fizz but it is a really attractive, hugely ‘drinkable’ fizz and boy, does it sell!

Adria Vini Le Dolci Colline Prosecco NV

Prosecco sales continue to fly as this bonkers phenomenon continues apace. Le Dolci Colline from Adria Vini is a fabulously commercial style, really well made, super friendly, bright and fruity and it is very nicely labelled as well.

Altemasi Graal Trento Riserva

May we introduce Trento DOC. The DOC is in fact a year or two older than Franciacorta but now possibly looks on slightly enviously as its younger, good looking, sibling garners all the attention. May we attempt to redress the balance a little? We’ve actually had a Trento DOC on the list for at least 10 years now though you’ve clearly not noticed and I think we’ve drunk it all ourselves… which is a bit weird actually as it’s the best wine in Italy. No seriously, there really is a strong case to be made that ‘Graal’ from Cavit is the ‘best’ wine in Italy.

Taltarni Brut Taché Sparkling Rosé

Very good traditional method fizz makes up for 75% of Taltarni’s total production – it’s quietly and seriously crafted up in Western Victoria’s high, iron-rich Pyrenees district where frost is a regular nightly visitor to these grapes. Fizz is what Taltarni do and now they have rationalised the range to reflect this – a proper marriage of old world, old school method and good ole fashioned Australian joy. The Taché is a Chard-dominant Champagne grape blend – it has well balanced between acidity and sweetness and a creamy, lush texture. A truly elegant sparkling rosé.

Sparking Piquepoul

100% Piquepoul grown on chalky fossil rich soil near the Bassin de Thau which helps to moderate the temperature in the heat of the summer. Cool fermentation is followed by a traditional fermentation in bottle and 2 years bottle aging before release with the date of disgorgement noted on the bottle. The fruit is subtle, apple fresh with some creamy complexity and elegance, appealing and fun but substantial even so.

Champagne Lallier Grand Cru Grande Réserve Brut NV

The vineyards in Champagne are classified from 80% upwards. Only the top 17 villages are classified 100% and only these 17 can thereby call themselves ‘Grand Cru’. They are simply the best sites. Unlike very many of their more well-known competitors, all Lallier champagnes are made from grapes grown on these best sites and so all Lallier champagnes are 100% Grand Cru. The Grande Réserve NV reflects brilliantly the house style; exhilarating, fresh, complex and classy.

Henners Reserve 2010

Like Franciacorta, English fizz is on the up and up and a serious contender to Champagne, both in terms of style and substance. Henners was acquired by Boutinot in 2017 and produces a trio of knock-out sparklers from its 10 acres of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier vines. These exclusive English Sparkling Wine are hand-crafted delights created with depth, complexity and elegance. The Henners Reserve 2010 is a beautifully poised vintage wine with concentrated, precise characters of vanilla, pear and biscuit.